Meryl McDougall

Name: Meryl McDougall

Region: Murraylands

What does your Digital Media involve?

I’m a writer. I also tutor and facilitate Creative Writing groups. I love joining in with online discussions – but have been told (more than once lol) to “get a blog!” But I didn’t grow up with a mouse in my hand… I’m a mature novice at all this DM stuff.

What does the term “Digital Media” mean to you?

At this stage, what I can apply – personally & for projects.

DM = creating and communicating in own sphere and across distance and barriers, using technology that supports opportunities otherwise unheard of.

How do you present your Digital Media?

Very basic presentations etc – e.g. PowerPoint, Publisher

Now training in Digital video Production & Final Cut Pro

Itching to do more

What medium do you work in?

Story-telling / short film… very early days – primary interest

How did you learn the skills that you have?

Still learning!

Do you see yourself as a hobbyist, emerging or professional?


Have you come from a traditional media background and made a transition, or always used DM… Tell us about your path?

I have a background in traditional writing, visual arts, live performance / theatre, community-based Adult Education, Community Cultural Development / Community Arts – collaboration with musicians, visual artists, video, radio etc. I write directly into Word (except for some poetry!). But my first typewriter wasn’t even electric.

Over the years, I’ve embraced computer technology for communications, marketing, producing low budget promo material – and, of course, speeding up and perfecting editing.

My DM progress has been slow and erratic. I started a simple blog (fired up over something political) but it fizzled. I join in with online discussions. And I’m (finally!) on FaceBook. But the technological advances always seem to be several jumps (leaps!) ahead…

What are the skills you use in making your work?

Writing – particularly the structuring of a narrative

Visualisation (a) – I think in ‘video’ – big picture (whole project) and detail simultaneously.

Visualisation (b) – my two / three dimensional visual artwork is ‘surreal’ e.g. juxtaposed disparate elements etc

Management and organisation of community groups / participants – mentoring

Is your digital media something you have been drawn to do, or has it been a survival skill ?


I can see, and love, the creative, communication and learning opportunities. It’s an adventure – even though I’m still on the walking trail and not scaling Mt Everest. Yet!

DM is also the way to go. Being involved in the DM world as an artist is essential – even if only at the basic promotion and sales level.

As a writer, a writer particularly interested in social history, and [some-time visual artist] I was attracted to Digital Story-telling several years ago. It also fitted neatly with my Community Arts (equity & validation – a voice for the unheard and silenced) perspective. I did a Final Cut Pro course but was unwell at the time… ill health and life just got in the way…

Now, living in the country, I find myself surrounded by like-minds, interested in social history. I’m voluntarily engaged in the HOME project (see HOME project profile) in Murray Bridge. I am currently training in Digital Video Production and Final Cut Pro at TAFESA to apply to the HOME project, other related community projects and personal creative development.

Does being familiar with digital media and the tools you use give you any edge in your work or life?

Yes. A writer can’t just work in traditional mediums any more – and expect to be taken seriously.

And I ‘twitch’ at the possibilities re visual applications

Where do you see these skills taking you in the future?

  • I want a professional, protected, website to market my personal work, create links & discussions
  • I want a blog link to the website
  • I want the website linked to other digital networks e.g. Digital Salon
  • I want to explore and create in the area of digital story-telling and short film
  • I want to develop community projects
  • I want to connect contemporary ‘traditional’ forms with digital – e.g. Zines and Social Networking – in ways that facilitates access by the general public (not the IT geeks!) – don’t know how, don’t know what… but it will happen.

What do others think of you and your work?

Artistic, creative… weird!

Professional writer and adult educator (NB: limit engagement in ‘employment’ due to diverse – ability. Contribute as a volunteer, allowing more flexibility, to manage health condition.) Currently working on long-term personal writing projects.

Definitely not techie! I learn what I need to know to apply to what I want to create.

Are other forms of technology or software providing you with new opportunities – tell us about it

FaceBook – limit fb friends

I love current affairs type discussions e.g. Insight, AdelaideNow – but I write too much.

Someone is going to teach me Skype – soon, I hope. Don’t have visual capacity at home.

Wouldn’t exist without Email…

Is there anything else ?

More opportunities for training, please.

I feel the pull in this direction.